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Two teams hoping to make this year's postseason
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field will square off in Phoenix on Friday when the Arizona Diamondbacks (71-56) host the Seattle Mariners (72-56) as solid home favorites at sportsbooks.Despite having one more win Jhoulys Chacin Jersey , the Mariners find themselves 5.5 games behind the World Series champion Houston Astros in the American League West, while the Diamondbacks lead the National League West by 1.5 games over the Colorado Rockies thanks in part to a three-game winning streak. MLB betting line: The Diamondbacks opened as -157 favorites (wager $157 to win $100); the total is at 8.5 runs, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)MLB betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 4.0-2.4, Diamondbacks (MLB picks on every game)Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news.Why the Mariners can pay on the MLB linesSeattle simply cannot afford to lose any series the rest of the regular season in order to make the playoffs as one of the two AL Wild Card teams. The Mariners trail the Oakland Athletics by 4.5 games for the second and final wild-card berth, and they will send 28-year-old Nicaraguan Erasmo Ramirez (0-2, 5.49 ERA) to the hill in hopes of winning the series opener.While his numbers do not look good overall on paper, Ramirez has pitched well in his last two starts and allowed just one run and seven hits in 10 innings, with Seattle winning both games against the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. Why the Diamondbacks can pay on the MLB linesArizona will have a definitive edge in the pitching matchup with Zack Godley (13-6 Alex Wood Jersey , 4.44 ERA) toeing the rubber at home. The 28-year-old has performed much better at Chase Field than he has on the road, going 6-2 there with a 3.33 ERA.In the previous three seasons, Godley was a better pitcher away from home, so he seems to have turned things around. He has been outstanding in his last two home starts too, giving up a total of two runs and seven hits in 14.1 innings versus the Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers. Both resulted in team wins, although he walked away with one no-decision.Smart betting pickThe Diamondbacks have gone 8-5 in their last 13 interleague games, according to the OddsShark MLB Database, after winning their last three against AL West opponents. Meanwhile, the Mariners have struggled in interleague play this season, losing nine of their past 12 versus NL foes. That is a clear advantage for Arizona in this spot. MLB betting trendsSeattle is 2-4 in its last six games.Seattle is 1-5 in its last six games when playing Arizona.Arizona is 4-1 in its last five games at home.All MLB odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner Zack Cozart Jersey , OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app. WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A brief high velocity matchup between Houston’s Justin Verlander and the New York Mets‘ Noah Syndergaard overshadowed Jose Altuve’s first spring training appearance for the Astros.Verlander pitched two perfect innings on a cloudy and blustery afternoon, striking out one and getting five fly-ball outs. Reaching 96 mph, Verlander threw 20 of 25 pitches for strikes Monday, concentrating on his changeup and pitching inside to right-handed batters. The 2011 AL MVP was happy with four of his seven changeups.“That’s a pitch that I am trying to throw more,” the 2011 AL MVP said.Syndergaard opened with three consecutive 98 mph fastballs and allowed first-inning hits to George Springer and Josh Reddick. Syndergaard struck out the final two hitters of his two-inning outing, including Robinson Chirinos on a 99 mph fastball.“It felt really good,” said Syndergaard, who’s missed significant time during the past two seasons because of injuries. “It felt like my arm strength was free and easy. It’s encouraging to see some swing and misses on my four-seam fastball up in the zone.”Syndergaard mixed change-ups and sliders with four-seam fastballs, throwing 18 of 23 pitches for strikes. He purposely elected not to throw a curveball http://www.angelsfanproshop.com/authenti...art-jersey , saving it for later games.He’s concentrating more on his four-seam fastball than his two-seamer, which often was too much over the plate last season.“I just kind of fell in love with it because it’s an artsy pitch,” Syndergaard said of the two-seamer. “It’s cool to throw, especially when you can harness it and throw it the right way.”Altuve flied out and popped up. Struggling through a late-season knee injury that required offseason surgery, the 2017 MVP only hit .316 last season, recording 169 hits – the first time in five years he didn’t lead the American League in that category.“It was good to get back on the field,” Altuve said. “Not pretty good results for me today, but I’m happy to have my first two at-bats for the spring.”
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